At Contagious, we create thought provoking apparel for those who feel alone, and unrelatable due to the challenges of navigating life while battling mental health issues. Our main focus is to Make Self Love Contagious, and help decrease the suicide rate in the World.
My name is Kieran Davis, Owner and Founder of Contagious. I'm the second oldest of five boys, and baby brother has autism. I always really felt bad for my older brother because he somewhat had to raise us. See my mom, she wasn't a single mother technically, but my stepdad was in and out of prison. Probably every other year since as far back as I can remember. So, my older brother always had to look after us and make sure we were fed. Sometimes, but a lot of the times we didn't really have any a lot but shout out to food stamps, you know. As the second oldest, I've always tried to figure out a way that I could help my family. I always thought that it would have to be something financially. As I got older and started to understand things, I realized that everyone around me is depressed or stressed or anxious. We don't really talk about this because I didn't really know what mental health was until I was about 19 years old. I mean, I did not fully understand what mental health was. I remember at 11 years old we move from Sharon, Pennsylvania to Huntsville, Alabama.
Huntsville, Alabama really changed my life. It really kind of gave me my sauce, or swagger. It was this move that brought me to a point where I did not know who I was, so I began to rebuild. That's what Alabama did to me, it freed me. I love it for that because without that, I would not be who I am today. However, some of the hardest times of my life came from Alabama. I remember when it all set in. It took us a while to get a place to live. We were in the projects when we first got down to Alabama and stayed with my older cousin. The projects down south were different from the projects of north. I remember for my eighth-grade graduation, to add, people could always tell that I was struggling. My coach kind of built a personal connection with me because he felt for me, and they got me to play middle school basketball because I was tall for my age. I remember telling my Coach that, I'm not going to be able to make it to the eighth-grade graduation because we're getting evicted. I didn't have to participate in graduation preparation since I could not attend. Two days before school was over, we got evicted and we were sleeping in the van. At that time, it was just me, my mom, stepdad, my older brother and two younger brothers because my baby brother was not born yet. I thought this would be like a passing situation, but it was not.
This would happen about two or three more times before I moved out of my mom's house at 19. I didn't know until later that my stepdad was on drugs. I love it for that because without that, I would not be who I am today. After, I wanted to go to school for psychology but did not have transportation and it was very challenging for me. I decided with my friends that we were going to go make music and we moved to lowa because it was our only opportunity to get away. One of my best friends moved to lowa, so me and my other best friend went up there as well and we kind of just set up shop there. This went on to be the next greatest lesson of my life. As 19-year-old kids, with no real authority around you, you start to make stupid decisions that will ruin your life. I was always a good kid, but I was easily influence and, I thought I was smart. Everything I thought was incorrect. Everything that I thought was normal was abnormal, and I grew from there. These decisions almost put me in a position where I would lose my freedom and would have gone to jail. It's still very challenging to tell this story. Even though I forgave myself, it is just embarrassing. This moment was a pivotal change in my life We'll, I found a quote by Maria Robertson Robinson that says, "no one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make an ending."
This quote led me down the rabbit hole of finding the law of attraction, and personal development. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Think and Grow Rich, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. You know, Evan Carmichael on YouTube, I really started to get into YouTube University. I started to study life. I started to study from other people who didn't come from the environment that I came from and what they were able to accomplish without any super specific talent or skill. The people I love have had points in their life where they did not want to be alive. I'm just so overwhelmed with the thought that there are so many people in the world who feel this way. Also, the thought that so many more generations will come and be conditioned by their environment to resent life and resent their existence. I'm not sure where this quote came from, but it says, there's a lot of dreams and a lot of talent in the graveyards. Scary. I'm not the smartest person.
I got a 2.4 in high school and a 3.7 in college. I just believe in growth. I'm not the most anything if I am being honest. I've never been afraid to take a risk because you see, no one ever expected me to be anything. My focus is to make self-love contagious. I was able to pull myself out of a very, very dark place. To be honest, I'm still fighting that battle. I was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, and I suffer from mild depression. I have social anxiety and so many different things cause panic for me. I try to build myself like an avatar and work on these skills to try to better hide them to the point where I believe that I'm good at these things. Growing up how I grew up, you think that some people are just destined to win, and others are just destined to watch. I no longer believe that. Personal development allowed me to understand one thing. 1) You are who you think you are because of what your environment conditioned you to be. 2) Everyone in existence is special, no one is more important than the next person.
So, I begin to think about how I could create something, because I always had the entrepreneur mind. I always admired people who can create something to change the world. I wanted to create contagious because one, I didn't have a lot of clothes growing up. The people who had the nicest shoes, the nicest clothes, were the most confident and always got the girls that I wanted it lol. We already know that clothing has an influence and when we think about contagious, majority of people think about illnesses. I grew up witnessing that the biggest illness is mental illness and the greatest foe you have is yourself. Mental health is a greater problem than we think. It's the one thing that can truly stop you from accomplishing anything in life. I began to go to therapy, went back to college, got my degree in business, and my focus was always to create something. I'm still learning and to be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing I just believe and follow my purpose.
I honestly believe that this is what I was put here to do. I had to endure everything to get to this point for it to make sense. Now I'm just keeping faith that there's more for me down this road. Most importantly, understanding that I was at a point in life, multiple times where I did not want to be alive. so, I'm just conditioning myself to become a better version of myself while still loving who I am currently. That's a very challenging place to make it to in life and I hope that you can reach that point as well. And if you have reached that point, I hope that you are motivated to help other people get there as well. Help make self-love Contagious, because so many people wake up every day sad that we must go on another day. Even if I can just help one person then I know my life has meant something
Thank you for reading this, and remember that you're not alone.
Remember that you are loved.
Remember that you are completely normal.
Let's Make Self Love Contagious